Monday, May 14, 2012

A Look at Lynn's Special Education Population

In Lynn public school system, special education students currently make up 16.5% of the student population. One hundred percent of Washington's student population is special ed while other schools vary in their percentages of this select population. This is a close look at Lynn's special education population.


Below is how the special ed population breaks down in terms of demographics.

Black/African American15.8%
Native American0.3%


Low Income84.1%
Limited English Proficiency11.9%
First Lang. Not English44.3%

The disabilities with the highest student counts in Lynn are:
  • Specific Learning Disability (644)
  • Intellectual Disability (412)
  • Developmental Delay (330)
  • Emotional (326)

The age with the highest student count is 13 (212 students) followed by 14 (202), 12 (197), and 11 (186).


Special ed students were among the subgroups not making Adequate Yearly Progress at all grade levels in 2011. Students with disabilities had a 12% proficiency rate on the 2011 English language arts  (ELA) exam and a 9% proficiency rate on the math exam. Proficiency rates do vary for this group at individual schools. At Shoemaker, for example, students with disabilities had a 17% proficiency rate in ELA and a 22% proficiency rate in math; at Classical just 12% of students with disabilities received a 'Warning/Failing' grade on the ELA exam. The Composite Performance Indices (CPI) for special education students has increased 2 points in ELA and 1.5 points in math since 2009. CPIs are a measure of the extent to which students are progressing toward proficiency in ELA and math; the goal is a CPI of 100.  More specifically, each student participating in the MCAS is given a score based on well they perform on the exam which is later averaged to determine the school or subgroup's CPI; possible scores are 0 (Warning/Failing - Low), 25 (Warning/Failing - High), 50 (Needs Improvement - Low), 75 (Needs Improvement - High), and 100 (Proficient or Advanced). In 2011, the ELA CPI for students with disabilities was 60.8 while the math CPI was 51.6.

Educational Outcomes

In terms of educational outcomes, special education students in Lynn tend to graduate at a lower rate than 'general education' students. This is much in line with state trends. See below for the graduation rates from 2006 - 2010.

Special Ed40.2%41.8%44.1%47.3%44.0%
General Ed69.7%74.2%75.6%75.5%74.3%
All Students64.4%68.5%70.5%70.7%68.5%

The graduation rate for this population increased slightly to 48.1% in 2011 for Lynn as a district. Lynn has four secondary schools - Lynn English, Lynn Classical, Lynn Tech and Fecteau-Leary. At Lynn English, 56.6% of special education students graduated in four years or less; this figure was 59.1% at Lynn Classical, 45.3% at Lynn Tech and 19% at Fecteau-Leary.

Special ed students also tend to dropout at a higher rate than the general ed population. Below is the annual dropout rate for the years 2006 - 2010.

Special Ed11.4%10.1%11.1%12.7%10.9%
General Ed4.3%4.6%4.9%4.2%4.4%
All Students5.3%5.4%5.8%5.4%5.4%

The four year dropout rate for special ed students was 24.8% in 2011, down from 31.9%  in 2010. At the state level, special ed students had a 13.2% four year dropout rate.

In 2009-10, a little less than half of the special ed students were going to attend a college or university with 70.2% of this group attending a Massachusetts community college. Nineteen special ed students were reported to have taken the SAT in 2009-10 with average scores of 312 in Reading,  285 in Writing, and  331 in Math. In terms of Advanced Placement participation and performance, there was no data reported for special education students in 2009-10.

*All Data Taken from:

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